Is the Automotive Industry Caught in the Same Helix of “Need for Speed” as the Telecommunications Industry?

We are all aware of the ever increasing need for higher bandwidth in our Telecom backbone networks. It went from 100 Mbit/s in ATM networks in the beginning of the 21st century up to a multiple 400 Gbit/s in less than 20 years, driven by Internet content like audio and video in fixed and mobile networks.

Automotive Ethernet Testing

Talking about Automotive, we are just about to start the same race: When BMW released the first CAN bus in their then, all new 8 series in 1988, nobody in the Automotive industry thought about higher bandwidth needs than the current CAN maximum of 1 Mbit/s. In 2014, it was BMW again who introduced a new in-vehicle network technology in a series car: Automotive Ethernet based on BroadR-Reach with 100 Mbit/s full duplex (200 Mbit/s) capacity for their surround view camera system in the X5 series.

Just 3 years later, research engineers attending the Automotive Testing Expo Europe 2017 in Stuttgart, are talking about 1,000 Mbit/s or even 10,000 Mbit/s (10 Gbit/s) to be considered for the next generation of cars, especially for application in highly automated vehicles or autonomous cars.

Today, I do see a parallel between the Telecom and the Automotive industry: Driven by growing infotainment, safety, and driver-assistance features like cameras, sensors etc., the “need for speed” has started to ramp up!

The implementation of Ethernet in cars will not be executed as fast as in the Telecom industry. But I am sure, as soon as initial challenges are resolved like they were in the Telecom industry, the continuous upgrade to higher bandwidth will be unstoppable.

We at Spirent help the Automotive industry resolve such challenges, as we have done and are doing it in the Telecommunications industry. Our long-time expertise in Ethernet testing, and global positioning testing reflects the comprehensive, standard-driven and user-friendly test tools we offer for the advancement of innovative applications and networks. We support the overall development process from design to integration and system validation.

For more information about our automotive solutions, click here.

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